Labor leaders Walk out of Aso Rock Meeting With the Federal Government

The work organized, on Friday, came out of a scheduled meeting of the Presidential Steering Committee on subsidy palliatives at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Joe Ajaero, the President of the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), had led his delegation to the office of the Chief of Staff, meeting venue, but they soon left the villa.

The steering committee had met with the government delegation on Wednesday, where the two sides agreed to meet again on Friday to get briefings on the three sub-committees set up to consider various demands.

The committee was created by the government to come up with solutions that would reduce the impact of the removal of fuel subsidy on workers.

But the meeting could not continue because, according to some members of the Board of Directors, there was no quorum.

The union accused the federal government of using the rallies as an excuse to deceive Nigerians.

A source at the meeting confirmed that three sub-committees, on public transport, on compressed natural gas (CNG) and on cash transfer, were to be present to brief the Steering Committee on the measures taken to mitigate the effects of the fuel subsidy removal from workers.

But Labor claimed that a government official who was a member of the subcommittee was not found.

The Steering Committee member from Labour, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “They are not prepared for the meeting.

This is the truth, the government representatives insisted that the meeting should go ahead despite the lack of a quorum.

“They are using cover to deceive Nigerians.

There should have been three subcommittees, public transport, CNG and cash transfers, to inform us, the steering committee, but the government did not prepare for the meeting.

“In their opening speech, they justified themselves and wanted the meeting to continue, the meeting did not form a quorum.

We are process based people, so what do you do when there is no quorum in a meeting?

You will adjourn due to lack of quorum.

“There was no one to meet. The chief of staff was not there, they took us kids.

“It was, however, gathered that the Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, had earlier waited for the labour delegation with other members of the team at his Conference Hall.

He later went out to attend to other official matters inside the villa while other members of the government team waited for organized labor to arrive.

Organized labor representatives from the NLC and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) were said to have been delayed at the front gate of State House, also known as Mopol gate, for dispatch.

According to information, the names of the labor delegation were not sent to the gate for clearance, causing a delay in the meeting.

One of the leaders of the workers’ delegation told reporters, “We were stopped at the gate.”

The failed meeting was to be the fourth in a series of meetings they had held since the removal of oil subsidies.

This was a continuation of previous meetings on the initial increase in the price of oil to N520 per litre.

Organized labor groups have planned nationwide protests on Aug. 2 to make clear their demands for the removal of oil subsidies.

The last meeting of the steering committee was held last Wednesday, but government representatives failed to persuade labor leaders to shelve their action plans.






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